Anna Drezen created the American adult animated series “Praise Petey” for Freeform. The series follows the life of Petey, a New York City “it” girl who enjoys everything until her world collapses.
Fortunately, a mysterious gift from her father offers her a fresh start: She decides to “lean into” modernizing his small-town cult.
Bandera Entertainment, ShadowMachine, and 20th Television Animation co-produce the series, while Disney Platform Distribution distributes it.
The series features stars like Annie Murphy, John Cho, Kiersey Clemons, Stephen Root, Amy Hill, and Christine Baranski. It premiered on Freeform on July 21, 2023.
The Animated Series Praise Petey
Jamila Hunter, EVP programming & development for Freeform, first announced the series on December 9, 2021.
Freeform gave a series order to “Praise Petey,” from SNL head writer Anna Drezen and executive producers Monica Padrick, Mike Judge, and Greg Daniels.
Dustin Davis from Bandera Entertainment and Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico from ShadowMachine are also executive producers. 20th Television Animation produces the series, while ShadowMachine handles the animation.
Genres: Comedy, Adult Animation
Premiere Date: Jul 21, 2023
Executive producers: Anna Drezen, Mike Judge, Greg Daniels, Dustin Davis, Alexander Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, Monica Padrick
Is Praise Petey Good?
Starting this review, I must say I love adult animation. If you don’t enjoy it as I do, this show might not resonate with you. But I love when animations establish their unique world, setting them apart from others.
This show firmly plants its flag in the animation world. It cleverly incorporates current cultural references and humor. The character interactions captivate, and the cast performs impressively.
I hope Hulu gives it another season or two, letting the story and characters grow. Overall, it’s an excellent show, reminding me of “Bless the Harts,” which sadly didn’t make it.
What Is Praise Petey All About?
The beginning of “Praise Petey” is familiar, reminiscent of Annie Murphy’s role in “Schitt’s Creek.” Like before, Murphy portrays a once-privileged individual thrust into a vastly different rural environment due to unforeseen circumstances.
However, in this series, Murphy’s character is animated, and instead of a small town, she finds herself in a compound that we soon discover is home to a cult.
Specifically, it’s the cult of her late father. Petey, a figure in the fashion magazine world, is introduced in Murphy’s captivating voiceover as “a girl with a boy’s name, so you’re encouraged to like her.”
She enjoys the high life in New York City, living luxuriously with days filled with leisurely lunches and minimal work. Yet, her mother, voiced by Christine Baranski, views her as more of a hindrance than a help.
In the series’ opening episode, this prompts Petey to delve deeper into the community her father left behind. When her father, portrayed by Stephen Root in pre-recorded video messages, does appear, it deepens the narrative.
This community is named New Utopia, suggesting its members’ vast aspirations, hoping to find purpose by dedicating themselves entirely to the cause.
In line with Drezen’s standout SNL contributions and her roles in unique comedies like Girls5Eva and Miracle Workers, Praise Petey embraces its eccentric side, aligning it with the greats.
The past decade’s notable adult animations have harnessed the uninhibited nature of the medium to bring levity to dark or quirky themes: like a former ’90s TV star battling addiction in BoJack, who’s incidentally a horse; Harley Quinn portraying an abuse survivor turned supervillain; or the hormone-driven adventures of middle schoolers in Big Mouth.
Here, the unusual pairing of a glitzy, directionless city girl with a stereotypical patriarchal cult creates a fresh narrative—akin to a twisted version of The Simple Life, reflecting today’s understanding of the genuine, melancholic Paris Hilton tale.
Though Petey identifies as the “nepotism-born child of a mad dictator,” she certainly lives up to the commendations she receives.
What Is Freeform?
Freeform engages audiences with daring original content and deep social interaction, nudging the cultural dialogue forward.
As the young adult network under Walt Disney Television, Freeform harnesses the energy and drive of its viewers, pushing for change through genuine, innovative original series like “grown-ish”, “The Bold Type”, “Good Trouble”, “Siren”, “Motherland: Fort Salem”, and “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”.
The network also showcases major events including “31 Nights of Halloween”, “Kick Off to Christmas”, and “25 Days of Christmas”.
Main Cast Of Praise Petey
Petey St. Barts: Once a girl who had it all, she now taps into her urban savvy to rejuvenate her father’s declining cult, aiming to lead more effectively and with kindness—truly a girl boss! (voiced by Annie Murphy)
Bandit: A cult member from childhood, whose mother held a high-ranking position, emerges as a possible romantic connection for Petey. (voiced by John Cho)
Eliza: A local bartender who becomes Petey’s hesitant best friend, now working in her budding cult. (voiced by Kiersey Clemons)
Mae Mae: Bandit’s Southern mother, radiating Southern charm, serves as the right-hand to a cult leader. (voiced by Amy Hill)
White St. Barts: Petey’s mother, a magazine editor and a figure in Manhattan high society, is a daunting perfectionist who’s never encountered ketchup in any form. (voiced by Christine Baranski)
Petey’s Dad: Petey’s affectionate father is a charismatic, down-to-earth cult leader with unconventional views on meditation, space, frolicking in fields, and the significance of his lineage for humanity’s salvation. His current state, living or deceased, remains ambiguous. (voiced by Stephen Root)